Eagles’ Owens, Sturgeon win at Mile High Open
PRESCOTT — It was a good day for a few of the grapplers on the NAIA No. 10-ranked Embry-Riddle wrestling team, which played host to the ERAU Mile High Open on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The Eagles nabbed three first-place finishes from junior Taylor Owens of Boise, Idaho, freshman Berit Sturgeon of Wasilla, Alaska, and junior James Williams of Mesa.
At 141 pounds, Sturgeon had a simple path to the final, notching two huge pins at 2:44 in the semifinal and at 2:17 in the final.
Williams, however, had a more rigorous route on his championship run at 157 pounds, going through three opponents. He made short work in his quarterfinal match and notched a pin at 1:31 before getting two technical falls in the semifinal and final.
Owens had an interesting bracket, as he had to take on a teammate and coach K.C. Rock’s son. He would use his range and footwork well to get four wins by decision.
Two other Eagles had successful runs in the open tournament, too.
Senior Dylan Passalacqua of Riverside, California, sophomore T.J. Hall of Meridian, Idaho, and freshman Garrette Branson of Matoon, Illinois, all took no worse than third place in their respective weight classes.
All-Americans Eli Mason, a senior from Cheney, Washington, and David Salazar, a sophomore from Tucson, both won their only two matches of the day because there were not enough competitors to complete a bracket at 149 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively.
On Nov. 30, Embry-Riddle will compete in the Argo Duals in Montana against three different teams before the University of Providence (Montana) Open on Dec. 1.